As I read the latest email that was sent out on Friday, I was dismayed by the content of that email. What I saw was an attempt to put this all on the negotiations process, but what I see is a lack of leadership from the district. How, are we as teachers, supposed to bargain and support bargaining issues when the district has not been forthcoming with information about what the district is doing to feel the pains of the budget crisis? We are looking at cutting 54.6 positions, but how many administration positions are we cutting? Is the cabinet taking a pay cut or at least a pay freeze? We keep hearing that we are in this together, but I see zero information about what is going to be cut at the district office beyond “it will be proportional to the percentage of the budget.” We need to know that we are truly in this together and that those of us in the classroom are not bearing the entire brunt of these cuts? When I talk to other teachers and they ask what else is being cut and I have to say that I don’t know. Maybe instead of putting out email that puts this on the bargaining process, you take the time to explain what the district is doing to meet the budget shortfall that the district has allowed and the board has approved.
When we started this process several months ago teachers were all on board to help solve this problem, but over the past several months most soured to the prospect that the district is willing to do the same. We want to help make changes that effect the classroom and our students the least, but it seems like those are exactly where most of the cuts are going to be coming from. I would like to see district leaders be exactly that, be leaders. Admit mistakes. Say things are broken and be clear what steps you are going to take to fix this problem. Hopefully we can find common ground to work through this together, but we will not do this alone and we are not willing commit to anything knowing the district has not be clear or transparent with us. What are you doing to fix this and what are you doing to save those 54.6 positions?